Athlete of the Issue: Carly Gill

Kaitlin Fenn and Hannah Friel, Staff Writers

Being a member of the Miramonte women’s basketball team is no easy job, let alone being a captain of the team. Lone senior Carly Gill led this year’s Lady Mats team to one of the best records in history. Although juggling school, sports and quality time with her cat “Little Cat” can be challenging, Gill has mastered time management, having been a member of the varsity team since freshman year.

Growing up, Gill has always had basketball in her life. “I remember my brother had me outside shooting and dribbling on a mini hoop from the moment I took my first steps,” Gill said.

After being on the Miramonte team for four years, Gill has learned valuable life lessons through the sport. “I have learned how to be a good leader on and off the court,” Gill said.

Not only has she played for Miramonte, but she has also played on Orinda Magic and Cal Stars, two AAU teams.

Gill, also known as “Carl,” has found each season of her high school career to be memorable. “[They have] been so different, but they’ve all been really great experiences,” she said.

From going undefeated in the Diablo Foothill Athletic League for the past two seasons, to losing to Campo three times her sophomore year, every moment has been worthwhile for Gill.

This season, Gill was a captain, which brought new responsibilities. “It’s awesome being a captain knowing that my team looks up to me, but it’s also hard because I have to be mature sometimes, which is really difficult.”

Even though she sometimes found the role difficult, her teammates view her as a key player and leader in the group. “Carly motivates all of us and is always there to pick up the team spirits whenever we’re down,” Keana Delos Santos ‘16 said.

Basketball season starts in early November and can go as far as the end of March. This potentially long season calls for major commitment but is definitely worth it, according to Gill. “I’m always so tired during season that I basically end up being a hermit…not that I go out anyways,” she said.

In her small amount of free time, Gill likes to wander through the aisles of Target with teammates Allison Miller ‘14 and Kaitlin Fenn ‘15, and play fetch or take quality #mirrorpicmonday Instagram photos with Little Cat. Also, despite her busy schedule, Gill always finds time to hit up the closest Taco Bell.

“I’ve learned that without basketball I would probably be morbidly obese considering all the Taco Bell I eat,” Gill said.

Although Gill had hoped to make it to the NorCal or CIF state finals in the Open Division this year, the Lady Mats fell one point short to Saint Mary’s Stockton 63-62 on March 9 in the first round of State.

“Best damn 4 years of my life #LadyMats,” Gill tweeted after the game.

On this year’s team, Gill was best known for constantly making a fool out of herself and being extremely moody.

“Sometimes in the team room before practice or games she would twerk in her locker. It’s quite a sight,” Miller said. “As for her being moody, it’s super unpredictable. You can say something to her one second and she’ll talk to you like a normal human, and then the next second you say something to her and she’ll scream ‘shut up’ and then start laughing really hard. It’s like the Hulk comes out and just wants to destroy everyone.”

Gill likes being a part of the team because she has made friends that are forced to like her because they are her teammates.

Rigorous conditioning and Saturday morning practices don’t help Gill’s unpredictable moods, and are definitely the hardest things Gill endures during the season. After four years of being on varsity she is beginning to experience the difficulties of growing old as she finds it harder and harder to move herself up and down the court.

When getting pumped for a game, Gill follows a strenuous ritual. “Before every game I have to pet my cat under her chin for two consecutive minutes,” Gill said. “After that, I can’t talk to anyone until I get to the gym. As soon as I get to the gym, I stare at the first person I see for 30 seconds, and then I go into the bathroom and scream in the mirror.” She also enjoys exchanging sloth jokes with the team before practice and games to get rid of some of the tension.

In good times and bad, basketball has always been an outlet for Gill. “It’s always been a really helpful way to get my mind off things. Whenever I’m stressed I just go play basketball and all the pressure is lifted off my shoulders,” Gill said.

As for basketball in the future, Gill hasn’t made up her mind. “I am not really sure yet. I think I want to play because if I don’t I’m going to get fat, but I also really love the game and can’t imagine my life without it.”